Saturday, May 29, 2010

Leslee's White Lasagna

Sean really likes Lasagna so I thought he would enjoy this recipe.  It is hard to find lasagna noodles that are gluten free so I just decided to make the regular gluten version for Sean and he could tell me how it was.  I made a few changes by using skim milk (it was all we had), cottage cheese for ricotta cheese and using regular lasagna noodles.  I was a little nervous the noodles would still be crunchy but Robyn Miller promised they wouldn't be so I put them in uncooked.  I also just made half a pan.  Everything was really easy to assemble and after reading my mom's review I decided to add some chopped spinach that I had in the freezer.  I think I used more mozzarella cheese than she suggested because you can never have too much of that! While it was cooking Sean joked that it better be as good as the red version and he said it was.  His only idea/suggestion was to add some ground sausage or pepperoni to it but then it wouldn't be as healthy.  I forgot to take a picture but it looked quite similar to my mom's!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Jacki’s Review of White Lasagna

We had the White Lasagne with Bechamel sauce last night for dinner and it was very good.  We both liked it and I will definitely make this again.  When I read through the recipe I was afraid it wouldn’t have much taste but it was perfect.  I followed the recipe as directed except I used black pepper instead of white.  The no-cook lasagna noodles cooked up perfectly.  I followed all of the cooking times exactly.   I was going to add some mushrooms but forgot so I sauteed them up and spooned them on top at serving time and they really were tasty.  When I make this again I will add more veggies.  I was thinking of shredded carrots, chopped broccoli and mushrooms.  Question for all of you – do you think I should steam them slightly before adding them to cheese mixture or do you think they would cook enough during the baking time in the directions?  The zucchini was plenty cooked but it is a softer veggie.  I am looking forward to having the leftovers for lunch today!

lasagna fresh out of the oven – looks a little bland I guess.

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Served with watermelon, spinach, mango, mushrooms.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Chorizo baked beans, German Potato Salad and flank Steak

After reading Leslie’s review I decided to add eggs to the potato salad and also made homemade mayonnaise with Olive oil and vinegar to add a bit more flavor to it. The beans were amazing loved all the paprika flavor, I didn’t add ketchup though I didn’t think that it was necessary, I also misread the recipe and added a 18 ounce can of tomato sauce so I had to reduce the broth a bit before adding the beans. I marinated the flank steak in the olive garden salad dressing just added a bit of garlic salt and pepper and oh boy that was tasty. The boys loved the meal definitely a keeper. The beans are perfect for summer BBQs!!!

May 22 Recipes

First, I would like to say I enjoy reading about everyone’s experience with the recipes.  I have been making a lot of them but keep forgetting to post.  I will get on that.


Here is what I have chosen for this week.  Not too much left to choose from!


5-ingredient pesto-vegetable strudel bites page 35

white lasagne with bechamel sauce page 66


I think everyone has the book but if you need the recipes let me know and I will type them up for you.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Jacki’s Review of Beef, Beans and Potato Salad

We had “the meal” tonight.  I really liked the combination of flavors the three dishes offered (I am a food mixer – I like a little of everything in each bite).  I used a flat iron steak for the meat instead of filet mignon (less expensive).  I brushed the Worcestershire sauce on, sprinkled on the salt and pepper and let it sit for about an hour before I cooked it on the grill pan.  It was very tender and had a delicious flavor.  I followed the recipe as directed for the German potato salad except I ended up using a bit more olive oil and vinegar than called for to make it moist enough.  I liked the tangy flavor of it.  The beans were good too  and easy enough to make.  Rich thought they were a little too “tomatoey”.  It would probably be good with some favorite BBQ sauce instead of the catsup.  I used a bit of smoked paprika too.   I served the meal with corn on the cob and watermelon and it made for quite a nice meal – I was stuffed and had to go on a walk afterwards! 

Sorry I have not included an prep pictures – I forgot to take any.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Orange-Garlic Shrimp, Mushrooms and Strawberry smoothy

What a Great Marinade for Shrimp!!! Love it. Just before we left for church I mixed all the ingredients and marinated the shrimp, had all the mushrooms sliced so when we got home Christopher made a Salad, Leon grilled the Shrimp and I cooked the Mushrooms and voila!!!! Dinner as ready... The Mushroom dish was very good and I think that it is a great side dish for special events and holidays so easy and quick to make. The shrimp we are definitely going to have it during the summer I bet they would taste very good on top of a salad too.
Well for the Strawberry soup we just used our favorite yogurt brand “The Greek Gods” I promise you that once you taste this you won’t want regular yogurt again it is HAVENLY…..literally hahahahahah.
Anyways they just came out with a new flavor – Honey and Strawberry – So I used that one and still added the ½ teaspoon vanilla extracted suggested in the recipe. It was very refreshing but not something unusual for us since we always make smoothies during berrie season and especially during Oregon summers. If you decide to try this yogurt you should try the honey flavored with fresh raspberries……….hummmmmmmmmmmm.

Meatballs with Root beer BBQ Sauce, green beans and potatoes

As the sauce cooked on the stove Alexandro walked by and asked for a taste. He quickly suggested adding our favorite BBQ sauce to it (Head & Country). I decided to add ½ cup and I have to say that it made all the difference. I guess growing up in Brazil does not help one to like root beer. After 20 years in America I am still trying to like this mysterious drink. I also used fresh herbs for the meat balls and it was delicious. The boys (all 3) really enjoyed the meal with the green beans with pineapple vinaigrette and sautéed potatoes.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Baked Beans, Chicken, and Potato Salad

I decided to make this week's meal on Sunday since I have a little more time to prepare things on that day.  It was also nice weather to BBQ.  I went to the store the night before for supplies and didn't see any steaks that I liked at a good price so I just marinated some chicken in the Worcestershire sauce with some Italian salad dressing.  I let that marinade for several hours before grilling.  The beans were pretty easy to mix up and I followed the directions except using kidney beans instead of red beans.  I hadn't used the charizo sausage before and it was a little strange to work with.  I followed the potato salad as directed but used regular bacon instead of turkey bacon and omitted the scallions.  I made this ahead of time and served it cold.  Overall the meal went well together and was very tasty.  We weren't huge fans of the German Potato salad, it tasted a little vinegary and not much else. Maybe others will have better luck with it?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Recipes for 5/16-5/22

Beef Medallions with Chorizo Baked Beans pg. 177

*These baked beans are also amazing with burgers and grilled chicken breasts.

Chorizo Baked Beans

Two 15 oz cans red beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup diced chorizo or other cooked spicy sausage, such as andouille

1/3 cup minced onion

one 8 oz. can tomato sauce

1/3 cup ketchup

2 Tb brown sugar

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp paprika


4 filets mignons

salt and cracked black peppercorns to taste

1 Tb Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp olive oil

1. To make the beans, in a medium saucepan, combine the beans, sausage, onion, tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, and paprika.  Set over medium heat and bring to a simmer.

2. Meanwhile, season both sides of the beef with salt and cracked pepper.  Brush the Worcestershire over both sides of the beef.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the steaks and cook for 3-5 minutes per side for medium doneness.  Serve the beef with the beans on the side. 


German Potato Salad pg 267

6 small to medium Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 2 inch chunks

1/2 cup chopped scallions (white and green parts, about 6)

4 slices turkey bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled

3 Tb cider vinegar

1 Tb olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and pour over enough water to cover. Set the pan over high heat, bring to a boil, and let boil until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 8 min.  Drain, and while still warm, transfer to a large bowl.

2.  Add the scallions, bacon, vinegar, and oil and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.  Serve warm or chilled.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


The food was really great. Starting with the shrimp, the orange and basil were a great complement, maybe next time I would rather use some fresh shrimp instead of the frozen ones I already had. For mushrooms I used some seasoned bread crumbs but combined with the Parmesan I think it was a little salty ( I didn´t add salt), so for the next time I would rather use some plain bread crumbs, even though it was pretty yummy. But my favorite one was the strawberry soup, it was very fresh and the vanilla extract gave it an awesome taste. The only change I made was that instead of fresh strawberries I used some cooked with sugar that I already had.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Recipes for the week of May 9th

Orange - Garlic Shrimp (Pag. 213)

1/4 cup orange juice

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 1/4 pounds large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1. In a shallow dish, wisk together the orange juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes per side. Add the orange juice mixture and simmer until the shrimp are opaque and just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the basil, and serve.

Mushrooms with Garlic, Parmesan & Bread Crumbs (Pag. 250)

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 pounds button mushrooms, sliced

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 cup dry bread crumbs, plain or seasoned

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium- high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring a few times, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the thyme and cook for 1 minute, until it's fragant. Add the bread crumbs and Parmesan and cook until the liquid evaporates and the bread crumbs are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Strawberry Soup (Pag. 292)

2 cups hulled and sliced fresh or thawed frozen strawberries

1 cup orange juice

1 cup vanilla yogurt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whipped topping as needed

Fresh mint sprongs (optional)

In a blender, combine all the ingredients except the whipped topping and mint and process until smooth, ladle the soup into bowls and top with a dollop of whipped toppping. Garnish with mint if desired.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Creammy Broccoli soup

Big hit here with this soup Alexandro has already asked me to make it again twice (He loves soup and fresh bread). The only change I did was to sauté the onion and Garlic in olive oil before adding the rest of the ingredients and I also decided to use my commercial grade blender instead of an immersion blender. They are very powerful and easy to clean, they also keep the food hot. I may be making this soup again this week.

Gumbo Time

I decided to use fresh Okra for my Gumbo as a result I had to wait a couple of weeks since it was a bit too early in the season and the grocery stores were still waiting to get some in. I am glad to report that it was definitely worth the wait….. I have to say this is the best gumbo recipe I have ever made. I made a few minor changes though. In Brazil when cooking Okra we usually sauté it in olive oil until all the slime is gone before preparing a dish. I highly recommend this method , another method used is to add lime juice (I don’t like doing that because it changes the flavor of the meal but it does work in reducing the sliminess). I also like sautéing the garlic and onion first and browning the chicken before hand. We are not huge fans of cooked celery so I just added 1/2 cup chopped. Everyone enjoyed it very much over steamed rice. Hummmmmmm so goooooooooooood.

Ingrid's Bowtie Tuna and Arugula Beet Salad

Oh, my arugula is growing and growing my herb garden is doing really good with all the rain and scattered sunshine days.
I LOVE the salad what an amazing combination of flavors!!! The only things I changed is that I decided to use fresh beets and navel oranges (got a huge box at Costco) The oranges were so sweet….perfect for the salad.
Now the pasta was amazing….I however disagree with the author and highly recommend grilling (or broiling) the Tuna. In my opinion if you are going to the trouble in spending the money on buying such a nice piece of tuna to boil it, you may as well use canned tuna. As you can tell we had our tuna grilled and oh boy that was amazing….Definitely making this dish again.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Jacki’s Review of Bowties with Tuna and Beet-Arugula Salad.

Tonight I prepared “the meal” as it is known around our house.  I really liked both the pasta dish and the salad but Rich was a little unsure.  He said he didn’t really like to “chase his food around the plate”. I guess the pasta was a little slippery.   He did suggest some cheese might help and I agree that a good sprinkling of parmesan cheese would be a nice addition.  We both agreed the tuna was excellent.  I thought the dish had a really good flavor – I prefer it over a traditional tuna noodle casserole which I am not a big fan of.  I followed the recipe pretty much as directed with a couple of minor changes.  I used center cut bacon instead of pancetta and artichoke quarters in water (drained) since that is what I had.  I bought a couple of nice yellowfin ahi tuna steaks which were very good.  It had a much fresher taste than canned tuna.  I thought the dish was easy to prepare.  I didn’t use a whole pound of the pasta and next time I would use even less than I used so I could have artichoke and tuna in every bite.  I would probably only use 1/2 a pound instead of a whole pound.  As for the salad – I used a combination baby lettuce package which had arugula in it.  I really liked the flavor combination of the lettuces with the beets and mandarin oranges.  I used a bottled blue cheese dressing that we had on hand because I forgot to buy the buttermilk and I wasn’t sure that the ol vinegar in the milk trick would work very well with this recipe.  I thought the meal made for a beautiful presentation and was light and tasty, just as a spring time meal should be.

Don’t these beautiful pics make you want to cook these recipes up right now?!  Yummm!

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Leslee's Bowties with Panceta & Tuna

I wanted to try out this recipe on Tuesday before we left for Arizona on Wednesday so I kind of just used what I had.  Instead of Tuna Steaks I used the suggestion to substitute chicken breast and used a little ham and bacon instead of pancetta.  I didn't have any artichoke hearts so I just used a different veggie that I did have which was green beans.  When I was dishing up my pasta I thought it needed a thicker sauce but it acutally had plenty of flavor and tasted great. I topped my bowl with a little cheese and it was quite good.   Both Sean and I liked it and would eat it again!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Audrey's Shrimp and Couscous

Just Brock and I tryed these two recipes and found the glaze a bit strong, so I would make some changes with that. I used the shrimp that I could find at the store which was medium, deveined and no tail. Next time I would get the larger shrimp, deveined with the tails on. They were both very easy recipes, which was what I wanted. We had some fresh asparagus along with the meal and all three tasted pretty good.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Shrimp, Couscous and Green beans in Oregon

Grilled Shrimp with Ginger-Hoisin Glaze served with Garlic-Herb Couscous and Green beans with pineapple vinaigrette

I decided to marinate and grill the shrimp and oh boy that was delicious. I mixed the ingredients for the glaze added some garlic in it and let it sit in the refrigerator all day. In the evening grilled the shrimp and simmered the glaze. When the shrimp was cooked I transferred to a bowl and pour the glaze over it and sprinkled the scallions on top, really good!!!!
We love couscous in our home so I didn’t cook the way Robin had it on her recipe. I like to cook it in chicken broth and add the herbs before serving. It was delicious with the shrimp I was impressed with the combination.
After reading Jakie’s review of the green beans I decided to change the recipe a bit and it was very tasty. I sautéed the shallot and garlic in olive oil until golden brown and cooked the green beans in it with a bit of salt, pepper and powder chicken bullion. Then I added only half the amount of pineapple (4Oz) – I only had crushed pineapple in my pantry - and added the Dijon mustard. My family loved it. I would definitely make this meal again

Recipes for week of May 3rd 2010

Bowties with Panceta & Tuna Pg 75

1 lb Farfalle(bowtie) pasta
2 teaspoons Olive oil
1/2 cup diced pancetta, bacon, or ham
2 tuna steaks (5 to 6 Oz each)
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
1 cup reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup quarted oil-packed artichoke hearts
2 tableshpoos chopped fresh parsley

1-Cook the pasta according to the package direction. Drain and Transfer to a large bowl.
2-While the pasta is cooking, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes. Season both sides of the tuna with salt and pepper, add the hot pan and cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Add broth and the artichokes, bring to a simmer, and simmer until the fish is just cooked through and fork tender, about 5 minutes.
3-Remove from the heat and stir the mixture into the pasta, breaking up the tuna into bite-size chunks. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Beet-Arugula Salad with Buttermilk-Blue Cheese Dressing Pg 270

4 cups fresh arugula leaves
1 cup jarred or canned sliced beets
One 11-ounce can mandarin oranges, drained

Buttermilk-Blue cheese dressing
2/3 cup buttermilk
¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1-Arrange the arugula on a serving platter. Top with sliced beet and orange segments
2- In a small bowl, Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over the salad and serve.

Ok, Leon and the boys helped to pick this week’s recipes, we have been talking about tuna casserole and the boys are very curious about that so I think that’s the reason they selected this recipe. I love arugula and have a lot in my garden right now that I want to use it. I am sure you can use spinach and it will be just as good. I love having arugula with sea food and perhaps you will enjoy it too.